Philippians Day One
September 14, 2020, 3:00 AM

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture;
the book widens and deepens with our years.” —Spurgeon

“It is a great thing, this reading of Scripture!
For it is not possible ever to exhaust the mind of the Scriptures.
It is a well that has no bottom.” —John Chrysostom

 

Among Friends
Philippians 1:1-5

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

That’s the way Paul’s epistle to the church at Philippi begins. Paul and Timothy are simply self-styled “servants” of Jesus. Notice what’s missing in this salutation: Paul doesn’t introduce himself as an “apostle.” Look at the openings of some other of his letters:

Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God…

Galatians 1:1
Paul, an apostle— not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead…

1 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus…

In those three letters, Paul must defend his apostleship. There are “super-apostles” to contend with. There are those who call Paul weak, and a poor preacher. (2 Cor. 11:5). There are those who claim he’s a snake-oil salesman, in it for the money (1 Cor. 9). There are those who claim he’s deviating too greatly from the teaching handed down by Moses (Judaizers in Galatians).

However, to the Philippians, Paul doesn’t mention his apostleship. He is amongst friends in Philippi. He doesn’t have to prove his credentials. He doesn’t have to refute any false teachers. Although he’s writing from prison at the time of this epistle, he can take great joy in his first church plant on European soil.

Although this little church is by no means wealthy, they support Paul as he moves on to ministry in Thessalonica, Corinth and Ephesus. No other church will stick by him the way this little church will stick by their apostle. The warmth of this relationship will be evident as we move through this letter. There is much joy here.

Pictured below, Philippi in Paul's day (c.50-55 A.D.)
Note the Roman super highway, the Egnatian Way, cutting straight through the middle of town!

Same angle. The ruins of ancient Philippi today.

 

Upcoming Sermon Menu:

Sep 13             Philippians 1:1-11                 Sermon #1
(1:6) “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
(1:9-11) That your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,
so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ.

Sep 20             Philippians 1:12-30               Sermon #2
(1:12) What has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.
(1:21) “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Sep 27             Philippians 2:1-18                 Sermon #3
(2:5-8) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Oct 4               Philippians 2:19-30               Sermon #4
(2:19-20) I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon,
so that I too may be cheered by news of you.
For I have no one like him,
who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare.
(2:25-26) I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus
my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier,
and your messenger and minister to my need,
for he has been longing for you all

Oct 11             Philippians 3:1-21, 4:1          Sermon #5
(3:7-8) Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Indeed, I count everything as loss
because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish,
in order that I may gain Christ
(3:10-11) That I may know him and the power of his resurrection,
and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
(3:13-15) One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Let those of us who are mature think this way.

Oct 18             Philippians 4:2-9                   Sermon #6
(4:8-9) Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—
practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Oct 25             Philippians 4:10-23               Sermon #7
(4:11-13) I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.
In any and every circumstance,
I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


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